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The greatest thing that ever happened to the Transformers movie franchise was Michael Bay’s departure.  Fact.  Let the reboot begin!  Bumblebee has arrived and it, operating as a prequel (or as like to consider it: THE ONLY TRANSFORMERS LIVE-ACTION FILM), ushers in a whole new and nostalgic look at the mythos many of us know from the cartoon and the toy. 

Forget what came before.  Please.  Bumblebee is so much fun; so much retro-realized entertainment that EVERYTHING that came before this movie is a quite assuredly a curse.  Why?  Because the people that would pay to see this movie have already deemed this series as a waste.  This film; however, feels like a DO OVER and it works as a standalone AND as the beginning for a new series of MUCH BETTER films. 

More than meets the eye indeed!  Finally, the Transformers get the movie they have long needed.  But will you care enough to go see the sinking ship right itself?

So, please, go see it.  Twice. 

Trust me, If this movie doesn’t speed through the box office charts it’s Bay’s fault: for far too long he has knocked us senseless with his ultra-realized slickness and “hip” attitude to action flicks and RUINED the Transformers brand.  It’s been too much to take in for FAR TOO LONG, thankfully, Bumblebee breaths BRAND NEW LIFE into a franchise that always deserved better.

Directed by Travis Knight, who previously earned praise for Kubo and the Two StringsBumblebee brings back the heart and the soul to the story of these car-morphing robots we know as Autobots.  With only the Decepticons as their bitter enemies, the story opens on Cybertron where we witness a raging battle between the two morphing tribes. 

We get to see some familiar bot-faces in the opening.  With Optimus Prime (voiced by Peter Cullen)  leading the charge, Bumblebee is blasted off of Cybertron to protect Earth from the Decepticons and, after a run-in with the Army’s Jack Burns (John Cena), who orders for the Autobot to be killed, finds safe refuge in a junkyard as a mustard-colored Volkswagen Beetle. {googleads}

It is mechanic Charlie (Hailee Steinfeld), trying to find some breathing room for an 18-year-old in 1987, who uncovers more than just Bumblebee when she convinces the shop owner to let her take Bumblebee home; she helps awaken a sense of purpose in the damaged Autobot.  Why?  Because no one – not her mother (Pamela Adlon), her step-father (Stephen Schneider) and her little brother (Jason Drucker) – “gets” her. 

With Shatter (Angela Bassett) and Dropkick (Justin Theroux) fast on the attack, it is only a matter of time before the services of Bumblebee (as protector of Earth) will be necessary. Bumblebee

But Bumblebee – now fully functioning thanks to her work on him and their alien-human bond – is more than a shoulder for her to lean on; he becomes her best friend.  With Steven Spielberg producing, there are several nods to his Amblin material and all of it works to create a vibe where we can relate to her and to her endearing friendship with this car-morphing Autobot.  Bring a tissue or two because the feels are alive and well throughout this blast from the past. 

More than meets the eye indeed!  Finally, the Transformers get the movie they have long needed.  But will you care enough to go see the sinking ship right itself?  I really hope so.  Bumblebee deserves it!

4 stars


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MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action violence.
114 mins
: Travis Knight
Christina Hodson
Hailee Steinfeld, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., John Cena
: Action | Adventure | Sci-fi
Every adventure has a beginning.
Memorable Movie Quote: "The darkest nights, produce the brightest stars."
Theatrical Distributor:
Paramount Pictures
Official Site: www.facebook.com/bumblebeemovie
Release Date:
November 16, 1976
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
April 2, 2019
Synopsis: On the run in the year of 1987, Bumblebee finds refuge in a junkyard in a small Californian beach town. Charlie, on the cusp of turning 18 and trying to find her place in the world, discovers Bumblebee, battle-scarred and broken. {googleads}


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Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Available on Blu-ray
- April 2, 2019
Screen Formats: 1.78:1
: English, English SDH, French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, Norwegian, Swedish
English: Dolby Atmos; English: Dolby TrueHD 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Italian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set; iTunes digital copy; Digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: Region-free playback

With a sturdy HD transfer, the release of Bumblebee on blu-ray by Paramount is incredibly rich.  The textures and the details are STRONG with this release.  Framed in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1 and including a kick-ass Dolby Atmos soundtrack, there’s little room for improvement on the visual punch of the film.  It looks fantastic and the black levels go deep.  The details in the garage and on the autobots are crackling with fine detail and so too are the colors, keeping their shape thanks to some consistent edges.  Shadows are defined and expressive with layers.  Put it in, sit back, and CRANK it up.  You will be blown away the best Transformers movie yet.



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Special Features:

Paramount’s Bumblebee blu-ray arrives with deleted scenes, outtakes, multiple looks at the transformers, a look at the classic age of the transformers, and more! Also included is a comic book entitled Sector 7 Adventures: The Battle at Half Dome, a DVD copy of the film, a digital copy code, and an embossed slipcover.

  • Sector 7 Archive (10 min)
  • Deleted and Extended Scenes (20 min)
  • Outtakes (10 min)
  • Bee Vision: The Transformers Robots of Cybertron (4 min)
  • The Story of Bumblebee (4 min)
  • The Stars Align (7 min)
  • Bumblebee Goes Back to G1 (10 min)
  • Back to the Beetle (6 min)
  • California Cruisin' Down Memory Lane (20 min



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